Survival statistics for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) | Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter

Survival statistics for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)

Men and women discussing acute myeloid leukaemia

Survival statistics for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). There is information about


A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for acute myeloid leukaemia

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Doctors call this your prognosis. The likely outcome with AML depends on several things, including how advanced the leukaemia is when you are diagnosed, the type of AML you have, and how well it responds to chemotherapy.

The statistics are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you need to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. If you think you would like to have this information, you can read further down the page. 

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your leukaemia is unique. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.


CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating AML section.



Acute myeloid leukaemia survival 

Find out about survival for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

People ask us for this information but not everyone with cancer wants to read it. So, if you aren’t sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can come back to it later.

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. They can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

No one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live with AML. It depends on your individual situation, treatment and level of fitness.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). Or you can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.


Outlook for AML

No UK wide statistics are available for AML survival.

The statistics below are for people with AML diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2012. They come from the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN).

Generally for people with AML

  • around 27 out of 100 people (27%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

This is for all ages. Younger people tend to do much better than older people. The following statistics are for people in England, diagnosed between 2008 and 2010. 

  • In those aged 14 or younger, more than 65 out of 100 children (more than 65%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
  • In those aged between 15 and 24, around 60 out of 100 people (around 60%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
  • In those aged between 25 and 64, almost 40 out of 100 people (almost 40%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
  • In those aged 65 or older, around 5 out of 100 people (around 5%) will survive their leukaemia for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

What affects outlook

Your age affects outlook. Younger people have a better prognosis.

Outlook is affected by changes in your genes. Doctor call these cytogenetic tests. Some specific genetic abnormalities in your leukaemia cells may make your leukaemia harder to treat successfully.

Survival is also affected by how advanced the leukaemia is at diagnosis. If you have a high number of white blood cells in the blood at diagnosis, the outlook is poorer. 

The outcome depends on whether you had leukaemia that changed (transformed) from a chronic form into an acute form. It can be more difficult to treat leukaemia that has transformed, or if it has developed from a blood condition called myelodysplasia. 

It may also be harder to treat a leukaemia that has developed after treatment for another cancer. This is called a secondary leukaemia. It means that you developed leukaemia after earlier chemotherapy damaged your bone marrow cells. This is rare, but it can happen. Secondary leukaemia usually develops within 10 years of treatment for the first cancer.

Your outlook is affected by how well the leukaemia responds to treatment and how long it takes to get a remission. Remission means the leukaemia is not active and doctors cannot find any sign of it. If it takes a long time to get your leukaemia into remission, your leukaemia may be more difficult to treat successfully.

If AML comes back after initial treatment it is called relapsed leukaemia. With relapsed AML, it is sometimes possible to get rid of all signs of the leukaemia again (a second remission) with more chemotherapy.


About these statistics

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of leukaemia. Many people live much longer than 5 years.

The statistics on this page are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than leukaemia. This gives a more accurate picture of leukaemia survival.


Clinical trials

Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve the outlook for people in the future. There is information about clinical trials in the trials and research section.

Children's impact statement - Leukaemia


For more information

Find out about

Understanding statistics in cancer research

Incidence, mortality and survival statistics

Cancer Statistics section

For general information and support 

Contact the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040 (Open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Share experiences on our online forum with Cancer Chat

Rate this page:
Submit rating


Rated 4 out of 5 based on 202 votes
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

No Error

Updated: 23 June 2016